There will be no cheesy Christmas monolog posted here. I am, however, going to take the opportunity to wish all of you dear, faithful readers a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
It’s said that patience is a virtue. It’s never been one of my particular favorites, but sometimes it pays off. I got home from work this afternoon to find that one of my neighbors has finally started putting up a privacy fence… meaning that I can put in the two end sections (saving beaucoup dollars over having to install the whole thing myself) and be relieved of the annoyance that is the back yard of my neighbor to the west. My new favorite neighbor’s contractor is supposed to drop off an estimate for me tomorrow. Next time I see her walking the dog in the morning, I’m gonna kiss that woman… Tongue, no tongue, totally her choice.
I was in a position where I actually needed to go to Target today. Under most circumstances, I try to avoid that type of venue between December 1st and the middle of January, but I found myself there this morning needing an eclectic mix of groceries and sundry household goods. And with that, the stage is set…
While minding my own business and searching for the Wonder bread, it occurs to me that Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. People go to great lengths to show how jolly they are by decorating their homes and lawns, throwing parties, and exchanging $15 gifts with their coworkers. Since I’m a hopeless watcher of people, I noticed that no one around me actually seemed jolly. In fact they seemed downright miserable… jamming laden carts into one another, wading through scowling crowds to get to on section or another, scarcely keeping an eye on the kids they had in tow, unless it was to yell at them to come back.
This is the happiest time of the year and for some reason, something doesn’t seem quite right. It’s amazing what you can see when no one knows, or cares, that you’re watching.
I’ve had the feeling for a while that I’m getting pretty repetitive on this thing… That the font of new blog ideas has been running towards empty. Being a creature of habit, new and interesting stories can get a little tough to find. I’ve got a couple of ideas in the works… like my 2008 presidential endorsement, but those aren’t quite ready for print just yet. Like I said, I just feel like I’m running out of Class A material. So, I’m going to throw open the door and take some requests… If you’ve got something you’d like to see a rant about or even just something I can assert a holier-than-thou position on, let me know and I’ll try to accommodate. Yeah, that ought to be interesting…
I use to think it a point of pride not to be bothered with trifling details like coats on cold days, but I’m ready to admit that I’ve lost any semblance of tolerance for the cold weather that growing up in Western Maryland bestowed on me. It’s colder than blue hell here in Chicago. It’s cold outside. It’s cold inside. It’s just cold. Next time someone wants to send you to a conference, make sure you ask them where it is before saying yes.
Off to Chicago for a few days… Assuming the weather doesn’t totally screw with air traffic tomorrow afternoon. As always, I’ll keep you in the loop with any late breaking developments.
It’s said that there are no guarantees in life, but one tradition I can nearly set my watch by is that sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas I’m going to wake up sick. I don’t mean full-blown deathly ill, just with my typical warning signs – a tickle in the throat, nose a little stuffy – just a general feeling. This morning was that day for 2007. I’m popping vitamin c and Coldeez like candy in an effort to at least keep things to the minimum possible duration.
You know, it’s not so much that I mind feeling sick, but it throws me off my normal routine, and you know what I think about that. Fortunately, today is a day off (gotta love use-or-lose leave) so I’m going to self-medicate most of the day and catch up on a few movies I’ve had good intentions of watching.
Somewhere out there the wind is blowing. Somewhere the world is coming apart at the seams. The phone doesn’t stop ringing and email flies across the country. … Sometime between teleconferences you look up… and smile… A warning order rattles off the printer. A nod, a word, and you can throw a team into the fight. Your crew is busy… and you’re in charge. Some days you hold it together by sheer force of personality, but know what? You’re a goddamn emergency manager… Is there anything better in the world?
THE SITUATION: You are in Miami, Florida. There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding. This is a flood of biblical proportions. You are photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You’re trying to shoot career-making photos. There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water.
THE TEST: Suddenly you see a woman in the water. She is fighting for her life, trying not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer and she looks familiar.
You suddenly realize it’s Hillary Clinton! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take her under forever.
You have two options:
1) You can save the life of Hillary Clinton, or…
2) You can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world’s most powerful women.
THE QUESTION: “Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?”
It’s taken me a while to decided if I actually wanted to wade into this discussion or not. In Sudan, a British subject is under indictment for allowing her elementary school-aged students to name a stuffed bear “Mohammed.” I’m not going to argue that it was in good taste, but I don’t know that it rises to the level where a lashing and expulsion from the country is necessarily a proportional response, either. Is it offensive? Yep, sure is. If they had named the bear in question Jesus or Jehova, would it be offensive to other religious groups? Yes. But the difference here is that you’re not likely to see the United Methodist Church or the Southern Baptists call for publicly beating the individual.
You know, I’m sorry that you’re offended by what this lady said or did, but when were any of us promised that we were going to be able to make it through the day without being offended? The world’s a mean place, so I recommend you suck it up, cupcake. Act like you’ve got a pair and stop bitching like the kid who just dropped his ice cream cone. The rest of the world may hate us, but I’m comforted by the fact that there’s a big hunk of them that are at least as ate up as we are.